By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 December 2012
The Deputy Minister for Agriculture and the MDC-T secretary for elections,
Seiso Moyo, has died.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, told SW Radio Africa that Moyo became
ill Friday morning and telephoned colleagues within the party to take him to
Moyo was rushed to the Avenues Clinic for treatment but unfortunately did
not recover. Mwonzora said it is suspected Moyo suffered a heart attack.
“Moyo was in the process of preparing the party for primary elections and
confirmations that are going to happen starting in January. He was also
preparing for the main election next year, along with members of the
directorate,” Mwonzora explained.
He added: “He was political gentleman and a man of peace. Although he was a
man of peace, he was also a man of action. He was very, very acute. We have
really lost a cadre there.”
In a recent interview with SW Radio Africa, Moyo insisted that the MDC-T
would not participate in any election until the situation on the ground was
conducive to holding a free and fair poll.
The MDC-T national organizing secretary, Nelson Chamisa, who was at Avenues
Clinic with party President Morgan Tsvangirai, posted on his Facebook page:
“Deputy Min Seiso Moyo is no more. We have lost a fine man!!!”
By Alex Bell
21 December 2012
An official from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) and three
other individuals dragged into the case against him, have all been denied
bail and will spend the Christmas season behind bars in Harare.
ZimRights programs manager Leo Chamahwinya has remained in detention at
Harare remand prison since last week, after being arrested during a police
raid on the group’s offices. He was taken into custody on allegations that
he was involved in ‘illegal voter registration’. He was then charged with
‘conspiracy to commit fraud’.
Three other individuals have also been charged in the same case, which human
rights lawyer Trust Maanda said was a deliberate ploy to try and implicate
Chamahwinya. Maanda told SW Radio Africa that none of the accused know
anything about the allegations made by the state and Chamahwinya and the
others did not even know each other.
The other three individuals are Dorcas Shereni, Tanaka Chinaka and Farai
Bhani who are all being accused of forgery, fraud and publishing ‘false
statements’. The state has alleged that the group forged voter registration
certificates “to tarnish the name of the Registrar General.”
Maanda said on Friday that their bail application was dismissed because the
judge insists the four accused are facing “serious charges.”
“The judge also ruled that they are likely to abscond or could even
interfere in the ongoing investigation. This is despite the fact that my
clients know nothing about what they are being charged with,” Maanda said.
He added that he is not surprised by the court’s decision, saying “in
Zimbabwe it is never surprising to be arrested for something you know
An appeal against the bail dismissal will be filed at the Supreme Court next
By Alex Bell
21 December 2012
Residents in Harare have appealed for an urgent solution to end the typhoid
crisis in the city, where the disease continues to spread.
At least 800 cases have been reported in the capital alone since October,
with at least five deaths recorded as a result of the disease. These deaths
have been recorded mainly in the Glenview suburb where a fresh outbreak was
reported in October, a year since the first outbreak in Harare in 2011.
Residents in Dzivarasekwa have also been warned about an outbreak of the
disease there, where the local clinic has been transferring about 15-16
people to Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital every day.
Harare City Health Deputy Director Dr Prosper Chonzi said earlier this month
that other new cases have also been reported in Mabvuku, Tafara and other
suburbs that have no access to clean water.
Speaking during a council meeting this week, Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi
reportedly said the new cases in and around the capital were as a result of
contaminated boreholes. Mahachi said that of the 235 boreholes sunk in the
city since 2008, 19 were ‘polluted’ and three were confirmed as contaminated
with the typhoid virus.
Precious Shumba from the Harare Residents’ Trust told SW Radio Africa on
Friday that until key stakeholders from the city council, the national water
authority and government come together and find a solution, “there will be
no end to the crisis.”
“Most people in Harare are now exposed to contaminated, dirty water. But
there is no combined effort at all levels to prioritise water and sewage
issues. We are really disturbed by the attitude of the authorities,” Shumba
He added that too much money being paid by residents towards their local
bills is being diverted for council wages.
“We need the council to prioritise the water issue. Otherwise there will be
no end to this,” Shumba said.
Typhoid cases have been reported in different parts of Zimbabwe since last
year, with the worst affected areas being the densely populated suburbs
around Harare’s centre, including Kuwadzana and Mufakose. More cases have
been reported throughout the year in Bindura, Mashonaland Central and Norton
and Zvimba in Mashonaland West. Chitungwiza and Kadoma have also reported
serious outbreaks with the local authorities being blamed for failing to
provide clean water.
Friday, 21 December 2012 10:20
HARARE - Harare councillors have demanded an immediate recall of the
director of Waste Management and Amenities, Dombo Chibanda, from “annual
leave” to deal with piling garbage ahead of Christmas.
With the city again falling prey to typhoid and diarrhoea, councillors
questioned the rationale behind sending Chibanda on leave.
They claimed Chibanda could have fallen foul to politics.
The move, according to councillors, has exposed Harare residents to risks of
a cholera outbreak due to uncollected garbage in most suburbs.
“Where is the director of Amenities or his deputy because I have garbage
concerns that I need him to answer to?” queried councillor Victor Chifodya
during a meeting chaired by mayor Muchadeyi Masunda.
Councillors then went wild when Masunda tried to dispel the allegations that
Chibanda was suspended, saying the director’s leave was overdue.
“He had accumulated leave days in excess of 200. He has not been relieved of
his duties as some councillors allege. Your role is on policy issues not the
nitty gritties. Directors report to the town clerk,” said Masunda amid
interruption from councillors who felt he was not being honest.
Another councillor, Peter Marange, said the leave was ill-timed considering
Harare has become a breeding ground for water-borne diseases triggered by
poor refuse management and sanitation ahead of the festive season.
Although Chibanda’s leave was supposed to end on January 4, the councillors
unanimously demanded that he be recalled immediately. - Wendy Muperi
By Tichaona Sibanda
21 December 2012
Finance Minister Tendai Biti on Friday said the biggest challenge facing
Zimbabwe in 2013 will be finding the resources to stage a referendum and
Biti explained that funding the two electoral processes in one year was
simply not possible and that he hoped the international community will play
an active role supporting the costs, estimated at between $150 million and
In his last state of the economy briefing for 2012 in Harare, the Finance
Minister said he had implored President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai to ‘sit’ on Mines Minister Obert Mpofu ‘so that diamonds
Diamond revenues have been an ongoing source of conflict within the
inclusive government. A report last month said at least $2 billion of
diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange fields – one of the world’s largest
deposits – had gone missing.
‘I’ve written to our two principals and impressed upon them that our
resources will not be sufficient. So two things must happen….number one,
they must sit on Obert Mpofu so that diamonds deliver, because diamond
mining is taking place and diamond exports are taking place.
‘Number two, it’s quiet clear the international community has to come to our
assistance as Zimbabwe will not have sufficient resources of its own to fund
both the referendum and election. If it was going to be an election alone,
taigona kukiya kiya (we could find the money)’ Biti said.
Biti, who is the secretary general of the MDC-T, recently said he was hoping
a referendum on the constitution could be held in the first quarter of 2013,
paving the way for an election between June and August.
He has persistently argued that it’s impossible to have an election in
March, as demanded by Mugabe, saying the newly drafted constitution, as well
as electoral and media reforms, would need to be introduced first to ensure
the result of the poll was ‘credible, legitimate and sustainable.’
By Godfrey Marawanyika - Dec 21, 2012 7:55 PM GMT+1000
Zimbabwean Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s assertion that a
sovereign wealth fund created from stakes ceded by foreign-owned companies
is worth $4 billion was questioned by economists who said the announcement
may be aimed at securing votes ahead of elections.
The fund was created after the government compelled foreign-owned companies
to sell 51 percent stakes to Zimbabweans under its indigenization program,
Kasukuwere said in an interview on Dec. 18. The size of the fund may
increase to $5 billion by mid-2013, after the state forces foreign-owned
banks to hand over their controlling shareholdings, he said.
John Robertson, an independent economist, said Kasukuwere’s announcement was
“a collection of claims that may never materialize” and was aimed at
“impressing” voters ahead of elections scheduled to take place in March.
Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second-biggest platinum and chrome reserves,
began implementing a law in 2010 compelling foreign and white-owned
companies to cede or sell 51 percent of their shares to black nationals or
state-approved agencies. The country, which was under white rule until 1980,
this year ordered banks to transfer their stakes to black Zimbabweans by
“We are happy with the progress we have made to empower our people,”
Kasukuwere said the sovereign wealth fund comprises shares allocated to
communities and workers under share-ownership programs, as well stakes ceded
to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund. The $4 billion
was calculated by valuing the stakes that have been ceded by foreign-owned
companies, he said.
“A lot of what he says is aimed at persuading people they consider to be not
very articulate that they will be massively enriched by getting shares of
the great wealth being generated by the indigenization process,” Robertson
said in a phone interview yesterday. “It is incredibly dishonest, but I don’t
think many people have been actually fooled into believing it.”
Kasukuwere is a member of the Zimbabwe African Nation Union-Patriotic Front
party headed by President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled the southern African
nation since independence. Three years ago, Zanu-PF signed a power-sharing
accord with the then-opposition Movement for Democratic Change to end
violence that erupted following disputed 2008 elections.
The MDC has opposed the indigenization program that has been led by
Kasukuwere and last month unveiled an economic plan that it said would
reverse the effects of the law. The Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital,
and Environment plan, known as JUICE, targets economic growth of 8 percent a
year and the creation of 1 million new jobs by 2018.
The MDC also rejects constitutional changes proposed by Zanu-PF that include
giving the president executive powers to dissolve parliament, appoint judges
without them being interviewed and confer presidential immunity.
The announcement of the fund may be an attempt by Zanu-PF to “sabotage”
Finance Minister Tendai Biti by showing it’s raising an amount that is about
half the size of the country’s $9.9 billion economy, said Chris Mugaga, a
senior economist at EcoMeter Global Capital in Harare. Biti is also an MDC
“This just buttresses the fact that there are two governments in Zimbabwe,”
he said. “Biti is now being relegated to being an MDC minister.”
Kasukuwere said most “major foreign-owned mines” have complied with the
indigenization law. Last week, Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) said it will
sell 51% of its Zimbabwe mining venture for $550 million. Other mining
companies in Zimbabwe include Rio Tinto Group (RIO), Sinosteel Corp.,
Metallon Corp Ltd. and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP)’s Zimplats Ltd.
An agreement with Zimplats will be completed after officials have addressed
“a few numbers which we are finalizing,” Kasukuwere said, without giving
Other companies that have complied with the directive include British
American Tobacco Zimbabwe Holdings Ltd. (BAT) and South Africa’s Pretoria
Portland Cement Ltd. (PPC), according to the Indigenization Ministry.
Foreign-owned banks are currently in talks with the government over when
they would comply with the ownership laws, Kasukuwere said, without naming
Foreign banks that operate units in the southern African nation include the
U.K.’s Barclays Plc (BARC), Old Mutual Plc (OML) and Standard Chartered Plc
(STAN), Togo’s Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI) as well as South Africa’s
Standard Bank Group Ltd. (SBK) and Nedbank Group Ltd. (NED) Barclays Bank of
Zimbabwe Ltd. is the largest lender on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, with a
market capitalization of $56 million.
The laws on foreign-bank ownership may stifle economic growth by harming
investor confidence in the country, central bank Governor Gideon Gono said
Kasukuwere has yet to deliver a report to the country’s Cabinet about the
fund, said Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa Mashakada, who is an MDC
“We as Cabinet don’t know about that money, it has yet to be presented to
us,” Mashakada said in an interview on Dec. 19. “Maybe it’s just a Zanu-PF
thing. They know better about that money than the rest of Cabinet.”
by Rebecca Moyo
Finance Minister Tendai Biti is expecting the country’s revenue to reach
$3,9 billion by December 31 this year.
Giving a state of the economy update on Friday in Harare, Biti said $247
million had been collected in November alone but, year on year, the figure
currently stands at $3,5 billion.
“In December we are expecting revenues of about US$400 million,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s total revenues for the third quarter amounted to $902,3 million
compared to $771,1 million in the first quarter and $825.9 million in the
Biti said the he was expecting inflation to end the year at about three
percent and added that the country’s imports were consuming so much money.
He said the country needed to produce more to import less. During the period
under review, total imports amounted to $2 billion compared to $1,7 billion
recorded in the corresponding period in 2011.
This translates to a 17,6 percent increase in imports.
“The surge in imports is largely attributed to the country’s continued
dependence on imported goods and services. The local production has remained
subdued and as a result, still falls short of meeting local demand,” he
Bis said most of the imported goods were raw materials, equipment and food
stuffs which are not locally produced.
In the third quarter, total exports were valued at $1 billion compared to
$754 million declared in the second quarter. This represents a 32,6 percent
increase in exports shipments.
“This increase has been largely attributed to the surge in tobacco exports
in the third quarter,” he said.
On a sectoral basis, declared mineral export shipments accounted for (67
percent), followed by tobacco (16 percent), agriculture (9 percent),
manufacturing (7,4 percent), horticulture (0,3 percent) and hunting (0,2
“Although there was an overall slowdown in economic growth in the third
quarter, output improvements were noted in some sectors, particularly
mining,” he said.
Inflation was also on the decline during the third quarter reaching 3,2
percent by September 2012 compared to the level of four percent attained in
Both exports and imports increased by 32,6 percent and 17,6 percent to
$1billion and $2 billion, respectively during the third quarter.
Biti said a total of $10 million was availed by the government in September
2012 to the GMB to settle outstanding payments for grain deliveries by
farmers. Of this amount, $4,4 million was for grain delivered for the
2011/12 marketing season and $5,6 million for some of the 2012/13
A further $8 million was also disbursed during the same period to ensure
settlement of all due payments to farmers as of 31 August 2012.
This development is expected to capacitate farmers to finance production
activities during the 2012/13 production season.
“Price stability persevered in the third quarter of the year, with annual
inflation decelerating from 3,9 percent in July to 3,6 percent and further
down to 3,2 percent in August and September, respectively,” he said.
The slowdown in inflation was on account of weak demand, tight liquidity and
weakening of the South African rand against the United States dollar. The
current monthly price surge was driven by increases in prices of vegetables,
fruits, meat and fuel.
As a result, food inflation increased sharply from -0.11 percent in August
to 1,1 percent in September, whilst non-food inflation rose to 0,19 percent
from - 0,21 percent over the same period.
However, fluctuations were recorded in month on month inflation, which
slowed down from 0,2 percent in July to a negative of 0,2 percent in August
before rising to 0,46 percent in September
He said the diamond revenue head continued to perform below expectations
with only $90 000 having been collected during the third quarter of 2012
compared to $11,2 million collected in the second quarter.
“Collections in the third quarter were for the month of July only. This,
therefore, brings cumulative diamond revenue collections to $41,7 million,
since January 2012 against a revised target of 28,9 million”
“Expenditure developments were guided by the amount of revenues collected,
in line with the cash budgeting framework. Reflecting this, expenditures for
the quarter under review were restricted to $887,5 million, against planned
expenditures of US$976,9 million,” Biti said.
Expenditures increased by 18,3 percent in the second quarter from $721,2
million in the first quarter to US$853,3 million and further increased by 4
percent to $887,5 million in the third quarter.
The resultant cumulative expenditures for the period January to September
2012 were $2,5 billion against a target of $2,8 billion, resulting in the
overall under-performance of expenditures of $356,7 million.
Total banking sector deposits stood at $3,7 billion as at the end of August
2012 compared to $2,95 billion in 31 August 2011. This represents an annual
growth rate in banking sector deposits of 21,7 percent.
13 hours 41 minutes ago
Harare, December 21, 2012- The Registrar-General’s office has made
ridiculous claims that the involvement of some human rights non-governmental
organisations in the production of fake voter registration certificates.
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede told journalists in Harare that the
development is an attempt by some NGOs to discredit Zimbabwe’s voter’s roll
and the country’s electoral system.
Mr Mudede revealed that the NGOs involved are tempering with the voters’
roll that they would have purchased from the RG’s office.
According to the law, anyone is allowed to request for a copy of the voters’
roll from the RG.
He said the detractors are also seeking to delay the holding of the
forthcoming election by peddling falsehoods that there has to be a new
voters’ roll and tarnishing the image of the RG with a view to have the
voters’ roll done by themselves.
ZRP Officer Commanding Harare province, Senior Assistant Commissioner
Clement Munoriarwa said tampering with the voters roll has serious
A statement issued at the news conference said some NGOs have embarked on a
campaign to deliberately manipulate the voters’ roll at the behest of their
paymasters who are at the forefront of condemning Zimbabwe’s electoral
The statement further states that some of the NGOs come into the country
under the guise of improving the lives of the less privileged, but end up
being very active in politics.
The country’s voters roll stands at 5 500 355. The Zimbabwe Mail
By Ndakaziva Majaka, Staff Writer
Friday, 21 December 2012 10:20
HARARE - Registrar General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede has deliberately set in
motion a media gag by isolating the independent media from national
processes which affect the forthcoming referendum and general election.
A Daily News reporter was thrown out of Mudede’s boardroom while attending a
press conference on the voters’ roll. Mudede said invitations to cover the
event had not been extended to the independent media.
“As a national process we have our people we invite to cover, the Daily News
was not asked to cover so you must understand our position,” he said.
“When things misfire we can easily track a selected few, we will appreciate
it if you left,” said Mudede.
Mudede, who has been RG since Zimbabwe’s first post-independence election in
1985, made it clear independent media was not welcome at the briefing.
Present at the press conference was the state-controlled ZBC TV, Herald and
New Ziana. The independent media was not represented, despite much talk in
the country concerning freedom of the press.
Mudede’s stance comes in the wake of an upcoming referendum and general
Last year in June a report by the South African Institute for Race Relations
said there were 42 000 people over the age of 100 on the voters’ roll and
that this was an “impossible” number.
Some on the roll appeared to be 120 years old, in a country with a life
expectancy of 43, according to the World Health Organisation.
Press conference material issued out at the briefing condemned independent
media for presenting the voters roll as being in “shambles”.
It also went on to condemn a freelance journalist who had done a survey on
the voters’ roll as being “misinformed”.
The independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) also noted that
nearly a third of registered voters are dead and described the voters roll
as a “shambles” that needs to be overhauled before fresh elections are held.
Zesn also wants the voters’ roll in electronic form, rather than the current
Mudede has been accused by civil society activists of playing a key role in
rigging elections for Mugabe in the over 27 years he has been in charge of
the voters’ roll.
Before presidential elections in 2002 Mudede told a meeting at the
International School in Harare that, “he could imagine no circumstances in
which he would declare anyone other than Mugabe the winner.”
It was only after four court orders that pressure groups were able to see a
copy of the “shambolic” voters’ roll he used.
An independent media agency, SW Radio Africa last year reported that its
sources alleged that Zanu PF is secretly removing known MDC supporters from
the voters’ roll.
The sources, who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, have claimed
that chiefs in the rural areas are being coerced into supplying the names of
known opposition supporters, according to SW Radio Africa.
After this incident, it is not surprising that Mudede gained a reputation
from foreign journalists as a key player in press censorship and a culpable
member of the Mugabe regime for human rights violations.
by Staff Reporter
THE number of registered Zimbabwean voters has dropped by about 300 000
since the last election, and authorities blame it on mortality.
Some 5, 934 768 people voted in the 2008 general polls, but Registrar
General Tobaiwa Mudede says that number has tumbled to slightly over 5, 5
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) acting chair Joice Kazembe put the total
at 5, 4 million recently after a meeting with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai to assess the commission's readiness for next year's vote.
Coincidentally, the 300 000 estimate is the same figure that then-ZEC
chairman George Chiweshe reported in 2008 as the total of new voters who had
registered for the balloting that failed to produce a clear victor.
“Voter population figure for the month of November, 2012 is 5, 589 355,”
Mudede told a news conference on Thursday.
“We are working hard to update our voters’ roll on a daily basis as some
people might have died. Once we get information about deceased people, we
quickly clean up the voters’ roll.”
The voter register has been in a shambles for years, and civil society
groups say it contains hundreds of thousands of “ghost voters.”
A forensic audit of the roll by the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network
(ZESN) last year produced indicting results.
"The computer test revealed that 2, 344 people born between 1901 and 1909,
therefore, aged between 101 and 110 years, were on the voters' roll," ZESN
said in its findings.
"Nine people born between 1890 and 1900, aged between 111 and 120 years, are
ZEC deputy chief elections officer Utoile Silayigwana revealed recently that
even the late Ian Smith, former Rhodesian Prime Minister, was still listed
as a voter. Smith died in 2007.
Mudede says government is doing all it can to clean up the register. He
accused some civil society groups of “manufacturing counterfeit” voter
registers to discredit the government.
His accusations follow the arrest of four ZimRights officials on charges of
manufacturing counterfeit copies of the certificate of registration
“These counterfeits are a recipe for confusion to the voting public
resulting in misinterpretation of the electoral process,” he said.
Government will begin a voter registration exercise on January 3 in
preparation for elections that President Robert Mugabe says he wants in
But his MDC rivals and regional leaders are demanding constitutional and
electoral reforms first to avert another disputed vote.
BY RAY NDLOVU, DECEMBER 21 2012, 06:08
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s re-election to lead the African National Congress
(ANC) in Mangaung this week for a second term is likely to slam the brakes
on President Robert Mugabe’s bid to hold early elections, according to
political analysts in Zimbabwe.
Mr Mugabe wants elections in March, but Mr Zuma, the Southern African
Development Community (Sadc)-appointed mediator, is widely seen as an
obstacle to Mr Mugabe’s plans.
Mr Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) passed a resolution at its party conference held at
the beginning of this month to go ahead with early elections next year,
despite key political reforms not yet being completed.
Insiders in Zanu (PF) say that Mr Mugabe is now privately conceding that the
elections he desperately wants held early may not be possible until next
June because of the slow pace of implementing the reforms.
Political analyst Charles Mangongera said on Thursday Mr Zuma’s victory
meant there would be a continuation of the same trajectory of dealing with
"A leadership change in the ANC would not necessarily have resulted in a
change of attitude towards Harare by Sadc, but would have certainly slowed
down things a bit. Mr Zuma and his facilitation team will stick to their
guns in calling for strict adherence to the road map on elections. This will
put a damper on Zanu (PF)’s threat to call an election without a new
Political analyst Tanonoka Joseph Whande said Zanu (PF) was "in the same
league of losers as the former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema", who
had launched a public push to block Mr Zuma’s re-election.
"Zanu (PF) may not have been publicly campaigning against Mr Zuma, but they
stood to benefit immensely from a leadership change in the ANC," he said.
Zanu (PF) chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, however, downplayed the effect of Mr
Zuma’s win. He said that his party remained the firm favourite to win the
"Our party has always stood firm in advancing the views of the people and we
believe that agreeing to anything from external sources, other than the
views of the people, is a betrayal of the revolution. Zanu (PF) remains the
sole political choice for the majority of people of Zimbabwe", Mr Moyo said.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) welcomed the ANC
"The election of Mr Zuma will ensure continuity in the mediation process in
Zimbabwe," said MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.
21 DEC 2012 00:00 - FARANAAZ PARKER
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe once called Cyril Ramaphosa 'a white man in
a black man's skin'
Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF seems to have backed the wrong horses at the ANC’s
national conference in Mangaung this week, according to ANC insiders at the
Not only is the newly elected top echelon of the party either firmly neutral
or critical of President Robert Mugabe’s rule, but expelled ANC Youth League
leader, Julius Malema, who has close ties with Zanu-PF, also wasn’t able to
rejoin the ruling party.
Representatives from Zanu-PF at the conference this week were quick to point
out the common history shared by the two liberation movements. Those with
longer memories will, however, recall that Mugabe has little love for Cyril
Ramaphosa, the billionaire businessman elected this week as deputy president
of the ANC.
In his biography of Ramaphosa, Anthony Butler recounts an incident in 1999
in which Mugabe called Ramaphosa “a white man in a black man’s skin”,
following negative comments on the state of the Zimbabwean economy in
Business Day and the Financial Mail.
Mugabe also accused Ramaphosa of disowning his African roots for failing to
silence newspapers that had criticised the detention and torture of two
Zimbabwean journalists. Ramaphosa was at the time the chairperson of Johnnic
Holdings, which held indirect interests in the two publications.
'Putting on the master's cap'
“There are some blacks who have acquired these media conglomerates. It
appears they have joined these whites in attacking Zimbabwe. Well, they are
black white men and they are really putting on the master’s cap,” Mugabe
Dr Annie Chikwanha, a senior researcher at the South African Institute of
International Affairs, said she doubted whether Mugabe’s perception of
Ramaphosa would have changed over the intervening decade. “One thing I know
about Mugabe is that he doesn’t shift easily. He is a man who sticks to his
guns ... I don’t think his position will change at all,” she said.
Zanu-PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo dismissed any suggestion that there
might be tension over Ramaphosa’s election.
“Zanu-PF and the ANC ... are united by a common pan-African commitment to
the liberation of our continent and our people. That liberation is not about
individuals,” he said.
“It is the ANC which has elected president [Jacob] Zuma and deputy president
Cyril Ramaphosa. It will be folly for anyone to bring into the picture any
suggestion based on any individual sentiment.”
The Mail & Guardian was unable to contact Mugabe’s spokesperson, George
by Gladys Ncube
BEITBRIDGE –Police have arrested Pedson Mbedzi the MDC-T secretary for
Beitbridge West district in Matabeleland South province for quizzing a
village head over selective distribution of maize seeds under President
Robert Mugabe’s farming inputs scheme
“Mbedzi was arrested yesterday Wednesday after he quizzed one village head
why Zanu PF supporters in the area were the only ones receiving free maize
seeds inscribed with Mugabe’s picture. He also asked whether the maize was
from government or it was from Mugabe’s home. He is now facing charges of
insulting Mugabe and is currently detained at Zezani Police Station, but we
have since dispatched our team of lawyers to deal with the matter. We expect
him to appear in court on Friday,” said Norman Mpofu MDC-T Matabeleland
South Provincial Secretary for Social Welfare.
Mugabe recently launched a $20 million farming inputs scheme which is mostly
benefiting Zanu (PF) supporters countrywide. Analysts says veteran leader is
splashing out the farming inputs to woo votes ahead of the watershed
harmonised elections set for next year, amid reports that Zanu PF was using
diamond money to sponsor its campaign programmes.
In its latest report released last week, a leading human rights watchdog,
the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), said Zanu PF had anchored its campaign on
free food and seed handouts in addition to use of state-sponsored violence
as it gears for harmonised elections expected early next year.
The ZPP expressed concern that the partisan distribution of inputs under the
Mugabe’s farming input scheme could set the tone for political intolerance
and set the stage for a bloody campaign.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 December 2012
With the political parties in Zimbabwe’s unity government deadlocked again
over the content of a new charter, Zim exiles in the UK plan to deliver a
petition at the South African High Commission on Saturday.
The Zimbabwe Vigil group told SW Radio Africa that they will submit a letter
calling on President Jacob Zuma, as the chief negotiator on the Zim crisis,
to put pressure on Robert Mugabe to stop his delaying tactics over a new
Negotiators from the three main political parties agreed on a draft that
they all signed, in full consultation with their party leaders. This COPAC
draft was used at the 2nd All stakeholders Conference, but ZANU PF is
demanding that more changes be made to the draft, insisting it does not
reflect the will of the people.
The Vigil said they believe ZANU PF “is deliberately dragging its feet to
prevent reforms before new elections as provided for in the Global Political
Agreement of 2008”. The petition to Zuma will demand an end to these delays.
Vigil coordinator, Dennis Benton told SW Radio Africa that a letter will
accompany the petition to President Zuma, congratulating him on his recent
re-election as ANC leader. Benton said they hope Zuma will now have more
time to devote to his regional obligations as mediator for Zimbabwe.
“We believe your intervention is needed now more than ever as ZANU PF is
determined to block any progress. More than 3 million Zimbabweans have been
forced from our country, many of them in South Africa. We long to return
home but can do so only after free and fair elections have freed us from
bondage,” the letter says.
Benton explained that without intervention, the crisis would continue to
drag on because there is no political will to resolve it.
“ZANU PF will continue to delay. They will delay forever because they don’t
want elections. In fact I don’t think any politicians in Zimbabwe want
elections. They want to stick to their jobs forever and not risk losing out
on the gravy train, especially now that they are rolling in cash from the
diamonds,” Benton said.
The petition to Zuma has been signed by nearly 5,000 people who stopped by
the Vigil group’s Saturday demos. It was organised as part of the “21st
Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protests”, which have been held around the
21st of every month since January of this year.
The protests always have a theme and, according to Benton, this time they
want to highlight “the suffering of ordinary people in Zimbabwe at Christmas
while the country’s political leaders loot the country’s resources”.
The Vigil group have been demonstrating outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in
London every Saturday for the past ten years, come rain or shine. They
disseminate information on Zimbabwe’s plight to passersby from countries all
over the world and highlight issues that are key to solving the crisis.
By Alex Bell
21 December 2012
A legal bid to try and prevent the sale of assets belonging to the Masvingo
Council has failed, after a judge ruled that the auction to pay off the
council’s debt can go ahead.
The MDC-T run council was taken to court by a workers union after failing to
pay its workforce. The court ordered the council to pay out US$3.5 million.
But the council does not have the money to meet this debt and instead, key
assets have been listed for seizure and auction. They include garbage and
fire trucks, fire fighting equipment, council vehicles, office furniture and
computers and even the Mayor’s Mercedes Benz.
The removal of council property started almost two weeks ago, threatening to
paralyse council work like clearing refuse or putting out fires. The council
tried to halt this and filed an urgent interdict last week, in an effort to
buy itself some time to find another way to meet its debt to its workers.
A court has now dismissed this injunction, meaning the auctions can go
ahead. This decision is set to have a debilitating affect on the council and
its residents, with no sign yet of what comes next.
The MDC-T has indicated that it will approach government for a bail out of
the council, insisting that, although it acknowledges the debt that needs to
be paid, the council itself cannot be allowed to stop working. But there is
no word yet whether a bail out is guaranteed.
December 20, 2012
HARARE — The United States government has started a program to strengthen
Zimbabwe’s health information management system. The program is meant to
strengthen surveillance and reporting of disease outbreaks and epidemics.
Those are health personnel - who include doctors and nurses from Zimbabwe’s
eastern region of Manicaland - clapping after the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) handed over laptop computers and accessories.
The computers will be used to store data about patients they treat in the
The donation is part of a $2.1 million annual grant Zimbabwe gets from the
U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, to strengthen
its health information management system.
Paula Morgan the deputy director of the CDC in Zimbabwe explains the
importance of Zimbabwe’s health information management system:
“Although our contribution although health wise [is] across the board
particularly disease detection and surveillance, its important to us to
capture all of them, because we work with PEPFAR programs, the President’s
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, we do concentrate on the HIV/AIDS epidemic,”
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the biggest problems Zimbabwe’s
cash-strapped government is grappling with. Although the United Nations
says new HIV infection rates have dropped by 50 percent in Zimbabwe, the
country still has 1.2 million people living with the virus.
As a result of bankruptcy, President Robert Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe
is failing to meet the Abuja Declarations which recommends that African
governments allocate 15 percent of their budgets towards health.
So it is no surprise Ponesai Nyika, a director in the Zimbabwe Ministry of
Health, welcomed the CDC’s donation of computers.
“This donation is really important, has come at a time when we really need
it because what has been happening is that at the local clinic they
[staffers] have been using hard copies, which is a hard paper system," said
Nyika. "They record their patients in registers and tally sheets; where they
tally against the patient’s age, name and treatment that has been given.”
All that is now done with computers thanks to the CDC, added Nyika. Through
funding from the PEPFAR program, a U.S. non-profit, Research Triangle
International (RTI), is training Zimbabwe health workers for two weeks to
ensure accurate data collection and analysis.
Henry Chidawanyika, who heads Research Triangle International in Zimbabwe,
sums up the current health information system standards in this African
“[It] is very weak in terms of viability to deliver, mostly because we do
not have enough personnel on the ground, we do not [have] enough equipment,
issues of infrastructure, power, connectivity," said Chidawanyika. "Health
information is a cornerstone of a delivery of a health system. If you do
not know where you are, then you do not know where to go. ”
For a country like Zimbabwe, which is afflicted by many diseases and
epidemics, a sound health information system enables it to monitor
statistics of say HIV infected pregnant women and provide critical
information on patients accessing antiretroviral therapy and TB treatment.
Experts say it also means early diagnosis of diseases.
By Tichaona Sibanda
21 December 2012
The country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, came to a standstill on Friday
as thousands of weeping mourners thronged the streets to bid farewell to
football legend Adam Ndlovu.
Ndlovu’s casket was driven through the streets of Bulawayo on its way to
Luveve stadium where 10,000 people joined the family and friends for a
church service. Police struggled to keep the crowd at bay as they pushed
into the stadium.
Supporters, officials and players from the country’s football teams, notably
Caps United and Dynamos, made it to Bulawayo for the service.
Former football commentator Ezra ‘Tshisa’ Sibanda told SW Radio Africa that
thousands of people lined both sides of the road from the city centre to
Luveve, to mourn Ndlovu who died in a horrific car crash on Sunday near
It is believed the province’s commanding officer has cancelled all leave for
police officers, in anticipation of an even bigger crowd at his burial at
Lady Stanley cemetery on Saturday.
The accident left Adam’s brother Peter seriously injured, but he is
reportedly recovering well at the Mater Dei hospital. The crash also claimed
the life of Nomqhele Tshili, believed to have been Peter’s girlfriend.
Tshili was laid to rest in Esiphezini, Esigodini on Thursday at a ceremony
attended by footballers, administrators and members of the Ndlovu family.
Friday, 21 December 2012 11:04
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and his family have said they will foot all
funeral expenses for Adam Ndlovu.
His political rival and uneasy partner in the shaky coalition government,
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his party demanded that Adam be
declared a national hero.
He is also attending the former national team striker’s burial in Bulawayo
It is almost a stampede as the two men and their parties seek to score
political goals from the horror crash which killed Adam and left Zimbabwe’s
biggest soccer export Peter Ndlovu badly injured last weekend.
The two were not hyperactive politically. But that has not stopped
politicians from falling over each other to be associated with the tragedy
that has caught the attention of the entire nation.
Although Mugabe’s Zanu PF has denied conferring hero status to Ndlovu, party
officials especially from Matabeleland region have been waxing lyrical about
Ndlovu’s life, with the Bulawayo province having written to the politburo
pleading that the former Warriors hitman be declared a national hero.
Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF secretary for administration described the request
as “stupid”, but his leader Mugabe, is not letting a chance to gain
political mileage ahead of polls slip.
The First Family has pledged to foot all expenses related to Adam’s funeral.
Also in the mix is rich Mines minister Obert Mpofu, who is fast fashioning
himself as the king of Matabeleland.
Mpofu on Tuesday visited Peter, the senior national team assistant coach, at
Mater Dei Hospital where he is admitted.
The minister, who is MP for Umguza visited the Ndlovu family and conveyed
his condolence message over the tragic death of the legendary former
Zimbabwe international striker “Adamski”.
Seemingly not to be done by Zanu PF politicians, the MDC, which has always
been at loggerheads with the Mugabe-led party over hero status
qualification, has already declared the celebrated Highlanders striker a
Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, who is also the MDC vice president,
on Tuesday urged Cabinet to consider Ndlovu a national hero.
The request was turned down by the Zanu PF side of the coalition government,
which has steadfastly denied other national luminaries hero status on the
basis that they did not take part in the 1970s liberation war or differed
with Zanu PF ideologies after the attainment of independence in 1980.
In its resolutions after a meeting on Wednesday, the MDC national council
declared Adam a national hero.
The premier has also confirmed that he will attend the burial of the late
footballer tomorrow at the Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe is headed for a watershed elections come next year and political
analysts say MDC and Zanu PF, the two frontrunners on the political arena,
are keen to be viewed as humane.
“It seems the stampede to bask in the glory of the Ndlovu brothers is all
about wanting to exploit their fame for political gain especially for Zanu
PF, a party whose popularity in Matabeleland — the Ndlovus’ home area — has
been on the wane ever since the Gukurahundi period,” said Dewa Mavhinga, a
social and political commentator.
Gibbs Dube, Blessing Zulu
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party has reportedly turned down a request
by the party’s followers in Matabeleland region and the two Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) formations to declare the late soccer legend, Adam
Ndlovu, a national hero.
The party’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, is quoted in the
independent Newsday newspaper as saying that the hero status is not for
sportspersons but for people who participated in the 1970s liberation
Mutasa told the paper that those Zanu PF members from Matabeleland region
who brought the matter to the party were “stupid as they are trying to use
the media to campaign for Adam’s hero status.”
He also said the cabinet rejected the same request from Deputy Prime
Minister Thokozani Khuphe of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Zanu PF officials were not immediately available for comment. MDC-T deputy
spokesman Joel Gabhuza said they are not surprised that Zanu PF denied the
Adam Ndlovu’s brother, Madinda, said everything is in place for the soccer
legend’s burial Saturday in Bulawayo.
Meanwhile, Nomqhele Tshili, the young woman who died together with Adam
Ndlovu in a car accident Sunday, was laid to raid rest Thursday in
Esiphezini communal lands, Matabeleland South.
Some members of the Ndlovu family attended the funeral where the Tshili
family reportedly quashed rumors that there is a feud between the two
families over the death of the former Gwanda High School and Speciss College
by Thulani Nkala
2012 December 21 12:49:16
Oh! Lord what a travesty of justice. His Holiness, His Highness, The Queen
and King of Zimbabwe is of the view that the late football legend's family
deserves to be appeased by crumbs of rotten bread, and be put in their
rightful position, as nonentities, second class citizens who deserve no
recognition as heroes of the land. This has actually been a blessing in
disguise for two reasons; it was not befitting a calibre and a man of
integrity like Mr Adam Ndlovu for his body and remains to be buried in the
"garden of thieves" in Harare.
Secondly, but more tellingly, it became conspicuously clear that the ZANU PF
leadership in Matebeleland does not possess an iota of power; they are there
as token leaders to save the interest of the Centre.
One wonders why the Emperor thought of giving the Ndlovu family some food
stuffs, if there is one family in the entire of Matebeleland which can feed
itself and the entire of Bulawayo, then it is the Ndlovu family. Why then
the leader of the ‘shelf party' thought it best to humiliate the Ndlovu
family this way? Why would they do what the Ndlovu family can do? The Ndlovu
family cannot declare Adam as a ‘national hero', whatever that means this is
exactly what ZANU PF and its leaders should have done for the family.
A hero should not only be someone who carried a gun during the liberation
struggle or ZANU PF members only, but those who have contributed immensely
to the good of the nation, be it through football, work, play or whatever.
Mr Mutasa would like people to believe that a hero is synonymous with
participation in the liberation struggle; very soon we all know that those
who carried guns during the liberation struggle would be gone, dead and
buried. So does it mean that the country will no longer have heroes? Does it
mean that people have to start another war in order to continue having more
heroes? Mr Mutasa's thinking is as misplaced as the entire ZANU PF battalion
which survives on manipulating events to its favour; even sombre events are
I genuinely think that Matebeleland should have its own national heroes acre
at Matopo hills where the King is resting. This will stop this nonsense and
blackmail by ZANU PF, people of Matebeleland will declare their own heroes.
This nonsense of burying people of Matebeleland at heroes acre in Harare
will stop. Being declared a national hero should never mean disregard for
people's culture, affinity and their continued relationship with their
departed and loved ones.
ZANU PF should never be allowed to gain any political mileage through the
death of a legend, whom they don't recognise as such.
ZANU PF has used food as a political weapon for too long and now this has
become its default position and its modus operandi.
Let our beloved brother lie in peace.
Let our hero lie in peace.
Throw away political shenanigans.
Throw away political chicanery.
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Friday, 21 December 2012
Fellow Zimbabweans, As the year 2012 draws to a close, I sincerely wish to
call for peace and moderation across the nation during the festive season
May I appeal to you all to embrace the spirit of Christmas with open arms
and wish the nation a prosperous 2013. The season ahead of us offers a
climate of giving and forgiving, time for family reunions and creates a
platform for relaxation and reflection. Let us make use of it as we prepare
to enter into one of the busiest years of our time, the year 2013.
The year ahead is replete with challenges for Zimbabwe: the conclusion of
the Constitution-making process; the national referendum; a watershed
election and the hosting of the UNWTO conference.
We are facing a year with a clear potential to define our national destiny,
leaving an indelible signpost for transformation and holistic progress for
These landmarks shall require a combined national resolve and a collective
effort to make it possible for Zimbabwe to maintain its pole position as a
resilient and vibrant player in SADC and in Africa.
The manner in which we shall conduct ourselves shall be instructive to the
future by laying a solid foundation for transformation in a nation once on
the wrench of an internal conflict, for many decades.
We are moving with utmost speed to finalise the Constitution-making process
to enable Zimbabweans to go to a national referendum, preferably in the
first quarter of 2013. The investment we put into the Constitution-making
exercise would go down to nothing unless we all realise that while what is
before us is imperfect in some aspects, under the circumstances, it is the
best we have managed to put together collectively as a nation.
The generation that fought to liberate this country in the 1960s and 70s
brought us the Lancaster Constitution, which despite its limitations has
served its purpose for the past 32 years. The people of Zimbabwe have
decided that it is no longer relevant to today’s national needs. For that
reason, we have an historical obligation to seed a firm, humane and
democratic political culture by making this initial step a success. We must
have a new Constitution to pave the way for that novel political
dispensation we all require.
Future generations will judge us harshly; justifiably passing an unkind
verdict, if we falter as we approach the finishing line. You and I know that
the road to a new Constitution was always going to be rough and tough; given
our differences, our diversity and political persuasions. I am happy to note
what now unites us through the current Constitutional draft is far much more
than a few prickly issues awaiting grit determination and unity of purpose.
With effect from 3 January 2013, all eligible voters must assume their
national responsibility by registering and verifying their names on the roll
in readiness for the decisive moment: our elections. The programme ends in
early April 2013.
We must embrace a culture of active participation in national affairs. With
the right passion, and always together, we can turn Zimbabwe into a place we
all desire to live in; to protect; and to bequeath to the future generations
I appeal especially to the young people of our country, who form the largest
group of our population, to take this responsibility seriously and to
register to vote. Young people who do not register to vote must be reminded
that they are outsourcing an important right which is critical to the
determination of their future. They should not be indifferent bystanders
while the older generations decide their future. Some of our young people
might think that it is not “cool enough” to stand in a queue to register to
vote but actually what is not “cool” is to stand aside while other people
determine your future.
As leaders, we have publicly pronounced our desire for peace and security in
the final stages of this unfolding process in our country. I hope we can
walk the talk and ensure that we match our words with concrete action.
We pledge to contain our supporters from engaging in violence of any form;
we pledge to embrace tolerance; we promise to honour our rich diversity and
to respect our differences in a peaceful and engaging manner. If we, the
Principals, can sit down and share our thoughts in a respectful and mature
manner, there is absolutely no reason why our supporters and political
activists should get angry on our behalf and cause harm to each other.
On our part, as Principals to the GPA, we must match our daily language of
peace with decisive action on the ground; we must direct the police force
and the Attorney General to exercise their Constitutional mandate by acting
impartially and professionally, shunning a partisan and selective
application of the law.
All perpetrators of violence and sponsors of public disorder must be brought
to book regardless of their political persuasion.
May I also urge our Ministers, parliamentarians, all activists in Zimbabwe’s
numerous political parties and all concerned Zimbabweans to take the lead in
preaching our non-violence message? The same anti-violence message must be
transmitted to the people by civil society, the church and all community
leaders. We must demonstrate to the world that we have come of age as a
nation and that we can solve our differences peacefully.
Violence shall remain alive in Zimbabwe as long as politicians and the media
continue to fan it through insults, hate speech and derision. We have the
capacity to help Zimbabweans to understand each other, respect their
differences and to celebrate their diversity. Let us start doing so during
this festive season.
May God bless you all,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
by Mjobisa Noko
2012 December 21 08:19:48
22 December, marks 25 years since the signing of the now defunct Unity
Accord following unrestrained state sponsored violence against unarmed and
innocent civilians by then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe under the guise of
hunting a handful of dissident.
Zapu was dragged into a marriage with Zanu PF under duress and only took the
position of joining Mugabe's party to save lives. It is on record that
Mugabe's hands are dripping with the blood of 20 000 innocent souls and we
as Zapu were left with no option but to sleep with the devouring enemy.
Three years ago Zapu's highest decision making body the congress decided to
pull out of the useless accord. It was the same congress in 1984 that gave
the then leadership of president Joshua Nkomo to negotiate with Mugabe for a
united front that would bring only a democratic state and not a nation
From the Zapu brand was brought into disrepute through violence, murders,
summary executions and inexplicable disappearance of political opponents and
ordinary citizens through the use of paramilitary Zanu elements i the united
party. Among many other things that Zanu and Mugabe had agreed to but failed
or flatly refused to implement was the scrapping of the Cockerel as the
party symbol and equal sharing of government positions and in the new party
despite an undertaking personally by Mugabe to do so.
Zapu's withdrawal was also inspired by the belief that Mugabe and his
lieutenants had deliberately blocked moves to devolve power to all
provinces, caused the marginalisation of the majority of the population
concentrating service delivery and development in a small section of the
Today we seek to demystify and disassociate Zapu with whatever Zanu PF calls
unity celebrations. We would like to make it clear to all peace loving
Zimbabweans that Zapu is not in any way associated with the so called unity
day celebrations as long as they are hinged on the 1987 agreement. That
agreement seized to exist three years ago.
We also take this opportunity to appeal to Mugabe and his party to desist
from abusing not only Zapu but also the Late President of Zapu Joshua
Nkomo's name by associating him or the party with the so called unity
celebrations. It is true Zimbabweans need peace and unity but not based on a
pyrrhic agreement that was lopsided and abused by a select few.
We view those that decided to stay with Zanu at most as sell-outs but at the
very least as weak souls who cannot defend what they believe in but would
rather continue to sup with the devil.
Zanu showed its contempt for both Dr Joshua Nkomo and Zapu by almost always
giving us junior positions in both government and the entire civil service
including the security services and we abhor this.
Zapu's founding principles are anchored in the respect of the values and
ideals of the liberation struggle, the upholding of human rights, devolution
of power and proportional representation.
We believe in the right of Zimbabweans to choose their leadership without
being molested by the military or those who claim to have liberated this
country and now want to hold everyone to ransom based on that. Zanu has
betrayed all these and hence we believe there is no unity to celebrate if
peace and tranquillity are foisted on people covering the wounds of
government sponsored atrocities.
by John Makumbe
Both the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme and the recent
so-called Presidential Well-wishers Agricultural Inputs Programme are
President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF)’s desperate attempt at vote-buying in
order to win the forthcoming national elections.
We know this to be true because both programmes are intended to fool voters
into thinking that the former revolutionary party has the interests of the
ordinary Zimbabwean at heart.
But this desperate move is unlikely to fool the electorate in any
significant manner. The people of this country are sick and tired of Mugabe
and his faction-ridden political party. They want change, and change they
will get at the next polls.
Most people are aware that the majority of the beneficiaries of the
indigenisation and empowerment programme are the few elites in Zanu (PF) as
well as some selected traditional leaders.
They also know that under the Mugabe regime, there is going to be nothing
particularly different to their way of living; their material well-being is
not going to suddenly change for the better.
The poverty they have endured for the past 33 years is very likely to
intensify. The distribution of the agricultural inputs was deliberately
targeted at imagined Zanu (PF) card-holders.
We say imagined because we are aware that over the past months, the
beleaguered political party was unable to sell most of the party cards it
had distributed to the provinces.
We also know that in most rural areas people have become very clever; they
now buy party cards from both the MDC and Zanu (PF). The cards are then
presented to whoever is dishing out any goodies.
What is even more interesting is that the majority of people now know that
their vote is secret; no one will be able to tell how they will have voted
in the election. They know because, in its vicious attacks on people in June
2008, Zanu (PF) was largely indiscriminate. It ended up beating both those
who had voted for Tsvangirai and the MDC, as well as those that had voted
for Zanu (PF). This was a classic demonstration of the truth about the
It therefore follows that in the forthcoming elections, the former ruling
party will also be unable to tell how people will have voted.
The reasoning is that there is no valid reason for not holding a Zanu (PF)
card and getting into danger, or missing out on some cheap benefit. The
holding of the detested card will not dictate how the card holder will vote
once they are in the cubicle.
This high level of literacy among Zimbabweans is now coming back to haunt
Mugabe and his desperate comrades.
How should the MDC formations handle this rather difficult (and expensive)
situation? The political damage that has been inflicted by Zanu (PF) is so
severe that it will take many years to remedy. The politics of patronage,
the hallmark of the former revolutionary party, will not be eliminated from
the minds and expectations of people overnight. Yet a start has to be made
The MDC formations cannot afford to imitate Mugabe and his corrupt fellow
party members. Efforts have to be made to make the people understand that
vote buying is a criminal offence in a democratic society. It is my
considered view that eventually the people will understand and accept this
Sadly, the grinding poverty to which have been subjected for so long
militates against this noble approach. - firstname.lastname@example.org
[21st December 2012]
Deadlock Not Yet Resolved by Principals’ New Committee
Constitution Watch of Saturday 8th December took the story of the continuing deadlock over the COPAC draft constitution to the point at which the special new Committee set up by the principals had had their inaugural meeting on Wednesday 5th December, and scheduled a second meeting for Monday 10th December.
This bulletin continues from that point.
ZANU-PF Conference Call for Completion of Constitution by Christmas
The resolutions emerging from ZANU-PF on the final day of its Conference on 8th December included one condemning the COPAC draft and insisting that unless the constitution-making process was concluded before Christmas the President should call an election under the current Constitution. This did not bode well for an inter-party meeting of minds over the COPAC draft during the upcoming deliberations of the principals’ new Committee. The text of the resolution was as follows [preamble omitted]:
“9. Constitution-making process
Now therefore, Conference;
(a) Deplores the delaying tactics employed by the MDC formations which have caused a constitution-making process that was supposed to take 18 months to last but has so far taken 44 months and is still going on with no certainty as to when it would be concluded.
(b) Is outraged that the draft constitution produced by COPAC on July 18, 2012 deviated in serious material respects from the views of the people expressed during the COPAC outreach exercise and which are contained in the National Statistical Report.
(c) Reiterates that any draft constitution emanating from the COPAC constitution making process must adhere to and conform with the views of the people expressed during the COPAC outreach exercise and repeated at the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference.
(d) Calls upon the party to resist all attempts and machinations by some international forces and their local proxies to smuggle nefarious values and practices onto the proposed new constitution.
(e) Implores the GPA parties to conclude the constitution making process before Christmas this year, failing which the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces should in terms of the law issue the relevant Proclamation dissolving Parliament and fixing a date for the holding of the harmonised elections under the current Constitution.”
SADC Extraordinary Summit Calls for Referendum on New Constitution Before Elections
Extraordinary Summits of the Troika of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and SADC Heads of State and Government took place in Dar es Salaam on 7th and 8th December. President Mugabe was attending the ZANU-PF Conference in Gweru, so Zimbabwe was represented by Foreign Affairs Minister Mumbengegwi. The main subject of the Summit meetings was the situation in the Eastern DRC, but President Zuma also reported on the latest developments in Zimbabwe, having been briefed by his facilitation team after their visit to Harare at the end of November.
The communiqué of the full Summit [full text available from email@example.com] contained only one short paragraph on Zimbabwe, but the emphasis was very different from the resolution adopted by delegates to the ZANU-PF party Conference the same day. The SADC position remains that the elections in 2013 must follow the completion of the constitution-making process, including the referendum. The key points [underlining by Veritas] in the paragraph were these:
“9.2 Summit urged the political stakeholders in Zimbabwe to fully implement the GPA.
9.3 Summit also urged the political stakeholders to finalise the constitutional process including referendum before the holding of the elections in 2013.”
Paragraph 9.3’s reference to the constitutional Referendum makes it clear that SADC would not accept the fizzling out of the constitution-making process without the people having had their say in a Referendum.
MDC Responses to ZANU-PF Conference Resolution
Unsurprisingly, the response of the other GPA parties to the ZANU-PF conference demands on the constitution was unwillingness to go back on their previous position that the time for changes to the COPAC draft was past.
Meetings of Principals’ Committee Unproductive So Far
The Committee did not meet as scheduled on Monday 10th December because MDC-T members were absent attending the funeral of the daughter of a senior party member. But it did meet on Tuesday 11th December and Thursday 13th December. As Ministers on the Committee missed the regular Tuesday Cabinet meeting in order to attend Tuesday’s meeting, it seemed the Committee’s task was being accorded high priority.
But this week the Committee has not met. On three occasions members’ other commitments have resulted in failure to assemble a quorum. The latest word from the Committee’s chairperson, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, is that he hopes the Committee will be able to meet on Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December, to continue its discussions.
Although Minister Matinenga has been tight-lipped about the progress, if any, that the Committee may have made in resolving sticking points, it seems inevitable that the any pre-Christmas report to the principals by the Committee will have to be that it has not completed its assignment.
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